Description: Alexandre DEFAUX (1826-1900) Un vieux puits à Puys prés de Dieppe Sur sa toile d'origine Signé en bas gauche et titré au dos 56 x 46 cm
Notes: Fine art or the fine arts, from the 17th century on, denote art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept, distinguishing them from applied arts that also have to serve some practical function.
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Historically, the five greater fine arts were painting, sculpture, architecture, music and poetry, with minor arts including drama and dancing.
 Today, the fine arts commonly include the visual art and performing art forms, such as painting, sculpture, collage, decollage, assemblage, installation, calligraphy, music, dance, theatre, architecture, film, photography, conceptual art, and printmaking.
However, in some institutes of learning or in museums fine art, and frequently the term fine arts (pl.
) as well, are associated exclusively with visual art forms.
One definition of fine art is "a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture.
" The word "fine" does not so much denote the quality of the artwork in question, but the purity of the discipline.
This definition tends to exclude visual art forms that could be considered craftwork or applied art, such as textiles.
The visual arts has been described as a more inclusive and descriptive phrase for current art practice.
Also, today there is an escalation of media in which high art is more recognized to occur.
The term is still often used outside of the arts to denote when someone has perfected an activity to a very high level of skill.
For example, one might metaphorically say that "Pelé took football to the level of a fine art.
" In that sense, there are conceptual differences between the Fine Arts and the Applied Arts.
That distinction is largely the result of an issue raised in Britain by the conflict between the followers of the Arts and Crafts Movement, including William Morris, and the early modernists, including Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.
The former sought to bring socialist principles to bear on the arts by including the more commonplace crafts of the masses within the realm of the arts, while the modernists sought to keep artistic endeavor as exclusive and esoteric.
An illustration is a visualization such as a drawing, painting, photograph or other work of art that stresses subject more than form.
The aim of an illustration is to elucidate or decorate textual information (such as a story, poem or newspaper article) by providing a visual representation.
Drawing is a form of visual expression and is one of the major forms within the visual arts.
Common instruments include graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, crayons, charcoals, chalk, pastels, markers, stylus, or various metals like silverpoint.
There are a number of subcategories of drawing, including cartooning.
Certain drawing methods or approaches, such as "doodling" and other informal kinds of drawing such as drawing in the fog a shower leaves on a bathroom mirror, or the surrealist method of "entopic graphomania", in which dots are made at the sites of impurities in a blank sheet of paper, and lines are then made between the dots, may or may not be considered as part of "drawing" as a "fine art.
" Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper.
Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable of producing multiples of the same piece, which is called a print.
Each print is considered an original, as opposed to a copy.
The reasoning behind this is that the print is not a reproduction of another work of art in a different medium -- for instance a painting -- but rather an image designed from inception as a print.
An individual print is also referred to as an impression.
Prints are created from a single original surface, known technically as a matrix.
Common types of matrices include: plates of metal, usually copper or zinc for engraving or etching; stone, used for lithography; blocks of wood for woodcuts, linoleum for linocuts and fabric in the case of screen-printing.
But there are many other kinds, discussed below.
Multiple nearly identical prints can be called an edition.
In modern times each print is often signed and numbered forming a "limited edition.
" Prints may also be published in book form, as artist's books.
A single print could be the product of one or multiple techniques.
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface (support base).
The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used.
In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action.
However, painting is also used outside of art as a common trade among craftsmen and builders.
Paintings may have for their support such surfaces as walls, paper, canvas, wood, glass, lacquer, clay, leaf, copper or concrete, and may incorporate multiple other materials including sand, clay, paper, gold leaf as well as objects.
Painting is a mode of creative expression, and the forms are numerous.
Drawing, composition or abstraction and other aesthetics may serve to manifest the expressive and conceptual intention of the practitioner.
Paintings can be naturalistic and representational (as in a still life or landscape painting), photographic, abstract, be loaded with narrative content, symbolism, emotion or be political in nature.
A portion of the history of painting in both Eastern and Western art is dominated by spiritual motifs and ideas; examples of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery to Biblical scenes rendered on the interior walls and ceiling of The Sistine Chapel, to scenes from the life of Buddha or other images of eastern religious origin.
The oldest known paintings are at the Grotte Chauvet in France, claimed by some historians to be about 32,000 years old.
They are engraved and painted using red ochre and black pigment and show horses, rhinoceros, lions, buffalo, mammoth, abstract designs and what are possibly partial human figures.
However the earliest evidence of the act of painting has been discovered in two rock-shelters in Arnhem Land, in northern Australia.
In the lowest layer of material at these sites there are used pieces of ochre estimated to be 60,000 years old.
Archaeologists have also found a fragment of rock painting preserved in a limestone rock-shelter in the Kimberley region of North-Western Australia, that is dated 40 000 years old.
 There are examples of cave paintings all over the world--in India, France, Spain, Portugal, China, Australia, etc.
In Western cultures oil painting and watercolor painting have rich and complex traditions in style and subject matter.
In the East, ink and color ink historically predominated the choice of media with equally rich and complex traditions.
The invention of photography had a major impact on painting.
In 1829, the first photograph was produced.
From the mid to late 19th century, photographic processes improved and, as it became more widespread, painting lost much of its historic purpose to provide an accurate record of the observable world.
There began a series of art movements into the 20th century where the Renaissance view of the world was steadily eroded, through Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism and Dadaism.
Eastern and African painting, however, continued a long history of stylization and did not undergo an equivalent transformation at the same time.
Modern and Contemporary Art has moved away from the historic value of craft and documentation in favour of concept; this led some to say in the 1960s that painting, as a serious art form, is dead.
This has not deterred the majority of living painters from continuing to practice painting either as whole or part of their work.
The vitality and versatility of painting in the 21st century belies the premature declarations of its demise.
In an epoch characterized by the idea of pluralism, there is no consensus as to a representative style of the age.
Important works of art continue to be made in a wide variety of styles and aesthetic temperaments, the marketplace being left to judge merit.
Among the continuing and current directions in painting at the beginning of the 21st century are Monochrome painting, Hard-edge painting, Geometric abstraction, Appropriation, Hyperrealism, Photorealism, Expressionism, Minimalism, Lyrical Abstraction, Pop Art, Op Art, Abstract Expressionism, Color Field painting, Neo-expressionism, Collage, Intermedia painting, Assemblage painting, Computer art painting, Postmodern painting, Neo-Dada painting, Shaped canvas painting, environmental mural painting, traditional figure painting, Landscape painting, Portrait painting, and paint-on-glass animation.
Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments that are bound with a medium of drying oil--especially in early modern Europe, linseed oil.
Often an oil such as linseed was boiled with a resin such as pine resin or even frankincense; these were called 'varnishes' and were prized for their body and gloss.
Oil paint eventually became the principal medium used for creating artworks as its advantages became widely known.
The transition began with Early Netherlandish painting in northern Europe, and by the height of the Renaissance oil painting techniques had almost completely replaced tempera paints in the majority of Europe.
Pastel is a painting medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder.
 The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce all colored art media, including oil paints; the binder is of a neutral hue and low saturation.
The color effect of pastels is closer to the natural dry pigments than that of any other process.
 Because the surface of a pastel painting is fragile and easily smudged, its preservation requires protective measures such as framing under glass; it may also be sprayed with a fixative.
Nonetheless, when made with permanent pigments and properly cared for, a pastel painting may endure unchanged for centuries.
Pastels are not susceptible, as are paintings made with a fluid medium, to the cracking and discoloration that result from changes in the color, opacity, or dimensions of the medium as it dries.
Ink paintings are done with a liquid that contains pigments and/or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design.
Ink is used for drawing with a pen, brush, or quill.
Ink can be a complex medium, composed of solvents, pigments, dyes, resins, lubricants, solubilizers, surfactants, particulate matter, fluorescers, and other materials.
The components of inks serve many purposes; the ink's carrier, colorants, and other additives control flow and thickness of the ink and its appearance when dry.
Watercolor is a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water soluble vehicle.
The traditional and most common support for watercolor paintings is paper; other supports include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, vellum or leather, fabric, wood, and canvas.
In East Asia, watercolor painting with inks is referred to as brush painting or scroll painting.
In Chinese, Korean, and Japanese painting it has been the dominant medium, often in monochrome black or browns.
India, Ethiopia and other countries also have long traditions.
Fingerpainting with watercolor paints originated in China.
Gouache is a water based paint consisting of pigment and other materials designed to be used in an opaque painting method.
Gouache differs from watercolor in that the particles are larger, the ratio of pigment to water is much higher, and an additional, inert, white pigment such as chalk is also present.
This makes gouache heavier and more opaque, with greater reflective qualities.
Like all watermedia, it is diluted with water.
The first example of modernism in painting was impressionism, a school of painting that initially focused on work done, not in studios, but outdoors (en plein air).
Impressionist paintings demonstrated that human beings do not see objects, but instead see light itself.
The school gathered adherents despite internal divisions among its leading practitioners, and became increasingly influential.
Initially rejected from the most important commercial show of the time, the government-sponsored Paris Salon, the Impressionists organized yearly group exhibitions in commercial venues during the 1870s and 1880s, timing them to coincide with the official Salon.
A significant event of 1863 was the Salon des Refusés, created by Emperor Napoleon III to display all of the paintings rejected by the Paris Salon.
Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists.
Their independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s, in spite of harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France.
The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satiric review published in the Parisian newspaper Le Charivari.
Impressionist painting characteristics include relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), common, ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles.
The development of Impressionism in the visual arts was soon followed by analogous styles in other media that became known as impressionist music and impressionist literature.